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Official Feedback Thread for Prioritization of Combat Animations

ZOS_GinaBruno
ZOS_GinaBruno
Community Manager
In the Thieves Guild update, we wanted to make it more clear which attacks players are using, while preserving the responsiveness and feel of the combat system. So, we started with a simple premise: if an ability is successful, you should be able to see it impact (or launch, in the case of projectiles). Now, every successful attack will display until the moment of impact/launch. Instead of canceling the impact/launch of the first ability, we now obscure the first few milliseconds of the interrupting ability.

795bf0b64a4ab2d14400f29610ec6d.jpg

The above examples show a Heavy Attack interrupted with an instant ability. The green part is what you see, and the red part is what is not shown. In the first example, you can see the way it is currently on the Live megaservers and has been since launch. The Heavy Attack can be interrupted at almost any time during the wind-up. At the time it is interrupted, the strike happens, but it is invisible because it is obscured by the beginning of the interrupting ability. The second example shows our current method of handling interruptions. Instead of obscuring the strike/launch, we show it up until that point of impact/firing, opting to instead obscure the (less important) first few frames of the interrupting ability.

We believe this visual adjustment meets the criteria we set when we were designing this improvement:
  • A successfully-fired ability should not be visually obscured; if an attack lands or an ability is launched, we should show it happening
  • DPS and other playstyles should not be adversely affected
  • The game’s “feel” should not change

One side effect of this change is that there are shorter (or in some cases, no) blend times to smooth the transitions depending on exactly when you choose to fire an interrupting ability. When you’re dealing in milliseconds and giving players that kind of freedom , you sometimes have to forego perfectly smooth transitions in order to make sure the player is receiving proper feedback and telegraphing to other players exactly what they are choosing to do. Having said that, if you find particularly egregious combinations (ability X interrupted with ability Y), please let us know; there may be some things we can do to help smooth them out.

As always, we welcome your feedback. In fact, it will be instrumental in informing us how to proceed with this improvement. Our internal testing has proven to be very successful, but there are so many different playstyles, builds and rotations, we want to make sure we try to implement this in a way that feels good in all cases and doesn’t need to be taught through a tutorial; exactly what you see is what is happening.
Gina Bruno
ESO Community Manager
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Staff Post
  • HeroOfNone
    HeroOfNone
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    Thanks for the clarification @ZOS_GinaBruno
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  • Enodoc
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    People are saying that combat feels slower; does anyone think it's actually slower, or that it's just a result of the change in animation cancelling? (The fact that they're now cancelling the beginning of the second skill animation instead the end of the first.)
    Edited by Enodoc on February 4, 2016 4:44PM
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  • efster
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    Occasionally, my one-handed sword heavy attacks are not connecting at all even though I am right in a mob's face. Not trying to do anything fancy, just plain heavy attacks, and there's no contact -- it's like my sword just goes through the mobs. No damage done, no stamina return, so I'd class it as both a DPS loss and a change in the game's "feel".
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  • Casdha
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    Does this apply to enemies as well?

    If so, this could explain what I was trying to describe in this thread:

    http://forums.elderscrollsonline.com/en/discussion/245364/visual-cues-are-not-consistent-thieves-guild-2-3
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  • spoqster
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    While dueling it sometimes felt like I didn't see all attacks by my opponent. I remember one particular fight where I didn't quite grasp why my health went down, and the death recap listed 4 Wrecking Blows.

    This is no exact feedback as these fights happen very quickly. Maybe I just missed them. But it's highly unlilely that I missed 4 WB animations.

    Also, I am on a Mac. Could be a client issue. The new Mac client is still very buggy overall.
  • fred.thomsonb16_ESO
    The diagram is incorrect as far as wind up can be completely negated in the current live iteration outside of skills with a cast time. (except for opening attacks between combos)
    Now we are stuck with skills we can only cancel by weapon swap and dodge roll, heavy attacks can still be wound up in the release of a skill animation in PTS.
    Edited by fred.thomsonb16_ESO on February 5, 2016 11:30AM
  • NewBlacksmurf
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    It does feel different. Noticeably different as in I thought my PC couldn't handle the FPS but now I see it's just the animation changes. This was mostly tested on levels 4-10.
    Now I'll say I think it's better for gameplay with the new changes but I'm a PvEer.

    Thanks ZOS

    FYI: If you truly intended it to not feel any different, you failed miserably but again...while it can cause me to not do something as fast, for PvE it's better. In that context better means it makes the game harder and not a face roll. Because it's harder, the PvE difficulty feel adjusted and may cause out cry for changes.

    Ref to Animation cancelling:
    -It does not seem to work as drawn because you are not displaying The actual reality of animation cxling in your diagram before or after. You guys have to test both normal and animation cxling and show both diagrams. Because you're not removing animation ccling what has happened is that heavy attacks take a lot long to complete and as such animation cxling will become a l2p requirement for competitive PvP and PvE.


    YOURE MAKING the game for ELITISM and not for an EVEN PLAYING field as far as animations.
    Edited by NewBlacksmurf on February 5, 2016 11:40AM
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  • remilafo
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    bookmark for later read
  • WillhelmBlack
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    So I just tried some duels, Magicka Templar. Yeah I had crap gear but I'm used to that.

    I got wrecked. Can't animation cancel heals anymore. This is vital for Templar! We have no shield, no defence skills. The template just felt completely unresponsive and just dire. Combat feels dire! Block cancelling is a life jacket for Templar, you either give us defensive skills or we stand in the background healing.

    I stand at the front of my group, I take the flack, if I can't do that I'll just stop playing the game. It's what I enjoy.

    I'm liking the changes to my Templar, really, but this change to animation cancelling just broke PvP. You've actually managed to dumb it down further than 1.7, which I thought wouldn't be possible but you proved me wrong big time.

    PC EU
  • Ffastyl
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    Dual wield Heavy Attack > Flurry (or Blinding Flurry in my case) has some weirdness to it. In third person, the new animation priority works as expected and is effectively the same as Live. In first person things get buggy... The first rotation of these moves handles normally, but subsequent rotations has Flurry almost failing to cast. The animation for Flurry does not play nor does the audio, yet no basic attack is charging or executing, indicating we are in the "Flurry" state. Then the last hit of the attack lands on the target with audio but no animation and the queued Heavy Attack begins to charge. This behaviour continues until the last rotation, or when Flurry is the killing blow. Here Heavy Attack > Flurry plays normally, like the first execution, except Flurry is stabbing at nothing halfway through it's animation (like it does on Live when target dies mid ability).

    It is unclear whether the full damage from Flurry is applied altogether with the last hit or skipped, but the SCT implies the first five hits (the DoT part) are skipped during this animation bug. I have to say it is unclear despite having SCT toggled on because Console UI elements easily obscure the numbers from SCT in first person, so I was looking specifically for the color indication of DoT damage, which I failed to see. I was not tracking the actual numbers due to the aforementioned UI conflict.
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  • MikeB
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    4) HOWEVER... the timing of hard cast spells (e.g. unprocced Crystal Fragments) HAS been affected. If you were accustomed to holding down the attack button (prime your medium attack) immediately after activating a cast spell, you will find that your cast spell will FAIL to complete!

    The solution to point #4 is to wait until the cast time of the spell (1 second in my example) is complete or nearly complete before holding down the left mouse button to initiate your heavy/medium attacks. Without going into a lot of detail, I found that this does not have any adverse effect on DPS as long as you can adapt your timing to the new system.

    We'll have to do some testing on our end but if this kind of ability queuing is something you can do on the live megaserver, this may be a legitimate PTS bug. Any change that is more impactful than a visual difference should be reported as a bug.

    So the only changes made were visual? Meaning you can take dmg from an ability before you even see it cast? Because if animations are queueing to be shown, and what you said in bold is correct, there should be no change in putting out dmg at the same rate as live. The only difference being animations are playing out, mostly, completely.
  • Jeckll
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    I played quite a bit with the new system and like others said before, light attack cancel is kind of the same but block cancel feels really bad. If possible, I would love to keep the current system please.
    Jeckll has quit the game. Thanks for the great time.
  • Emma_Overload
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    Hello, just wanted to talk about a few things regarding these changes.

    Roll cancels and swap cancels seem to work the same as on live. But something has gone horibly wrong with block canceling.

    Light attack > Skill > block

    On live you can block cancel all skills to get them to fire a few milisecconds faster than before, but on the pts this is no longer the case. Some skills still function the same when block cancelled (channeled focus) while others can no longer be block canceled (purifying ritual, binding javelin, executioner)

    Please tell me this is a bug Zeni :neutral: because as it stands right now my Templar is feeling very clunky on the pts without the ability to properly block cancel half my skills.

    I'm curious, why would you need to block cancel Javelin or Executioner? Both are instant cast, so the next action you initiate (e.g. another ability) is going to start immediately at the end of the 1 second GCD anyway. Even with cast spells, my experience has been that block canceling will shorten the animation time if the animation lasts longer than the actual (tooltip stated) cast time, but it will NOT shorten the underlying cast time. For example, you can block cancel something like Wrecking Blow, but doing so won't let you cast more Wrecking Blows back to back in the same amount of time.
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  • DschiPeunt
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    The new system feels much slower in my experience and does not look smooth anymore, but really weird. My character does some weird movements with my usual middle-attack-weaving rotation. This may partly be caused by lag, but I think it is mostly caused by the new system.
    I would think that you want to change the system for PvP, because it does not really matter so much in PvE.
    But the way you did this does not feel right to me. It makes my DPSing much less enjoyable. So pleeeeaaase take a look at it again, so that it looks more like before and feels as smooth as before and does not look as my character is having a stroke.
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  • WillhelmBlack
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    Hello, just wanted to talk about a few things regarding these changes.

    Roll cancels and swap cancels seem to work the same as on live. But something has gone horibly wrong with block canceling.

    Light attack > Skill > block

    On live you can block cancel all skills to get them to fire a few milisecconds faster than before, but on the pts this is no longer the case. Some skills still function the same when block cancelled (channeled focus) while others can no longer be block canceled (purifying ritual, binding javelin, executioner)

    Please tell me this is a bug Zeni :neutral: because as it stands right now my Templar is feeling very clunky on the pts without the ability to properly block cancel half my skills.

    I'm curious, why would you need to block cancel Javelin or Executioner? Both are instant cast, so the next action you initiate (e.g. another ability) is going to start immediately at the end of the 1 second GCD anyway. Even with cast spells, my experience has been that block canceling will shorten the animation time if the animation lasts longer than the actual (tooltip stated) cast time, but it will NOT shorten the underlying cast time. For example, you can block cancel something like Wrecking Blow, but doing so won't let you cast more Wrecking Blows back to back in the same amount of time.

    Some people can break free faster than you can complete the animation of Javelin. Sometimes it needs to cancelled to cue up another attack. Some can animation cancel a heal or simply roll dodge away faster than an Executioner because they know it's coming. The faster you can do it, the better. It's skill.

    I've seen guys roll and dodge and wreck and have fun going from one kill to another. Fluidity. Sorcs being Sorcs spreading fights and angering pugs. Templars and DK's stood on a flags getting beat on and on and on and on, block cancelling heals and shields. All of these, weren't your average players mind. These were guys pushing the limits of the game...can't do that anymore. Not since 1.7 and especially not in this update incoming. Those are the guys I and many have become by now. We mastered the game.

    If this goes live, I'm done. Just can't be bothered, I'll find another. Sick of the dumbing down.
    PC EU
  • Callidus_Est
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    Once again, ZOS pleases the casuals and the QQ'ers. I hate this new system, I miss animation cancelling with block. It was the trademarks of a skilled player, never a sign of a potato player who is cheating. All the good players animation cancelled, while bad players never did.

    Zenimax screwed one of the games only awesome systems because of the QQ spam on the forums. Combat feels sluggish now.
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  • Anhedonie
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    Destruction staff light attack is awful. Animation is bad and often locks me out. It's too slow and abrupt at the same time.
    Combat feels very unresponsive and counterintuitive.
    Edited by Anhedonie on February 6, 2016 4:21AM
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  • Manoekin
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    My only complaint is if I cancel the animation with a weapon swap, it will often swap twice. Although, it could just be swapping twice randomly.
  • WillhelmBlack
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    Manoekin wrote: »
    My only complaint is if I cancel the animation with a weapon swap, it will often swap twice. Although, it could just be swapping twice randomly.

    and the skill you bar swap cancelled sometimes doesn't even go off.
    PC EU
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